July 23, 2024

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Putin plays with Alaska – the US response is immediate


RussiaPutin plays with Alaska – the US response is immediate

The Russian president is losing the largest part of his country. Now the US has described Putin's statement as “absurd”.

Benedict Holenstein
  • Alaska was part of the Russian Empire until 1867.

  • In one order, Putin ordered funding for research, registration and protection of Moscow's “property abroad” — he also mentioned Alaska.

  • The US State Department describes discussions about returning Alaska to Russia as “absurd”.

Already with it Annexation of Crimea With the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014 and the spring of 2022, Vladimir Putin made clear to the world his ambitions to make Russia a great empire again. A president who rules effectively as an autocrat, even if he gives other reasons.

It seems that the 71-year-old's ambitions to seize territories in Europe are not satisfied: the recently signed decree, depending on its implementation, will lead Russia to war with the United States.

“Property Abroad”

In a presidential decree, Putin ordered the allocation of funds for research, registration and protection of Moscow's assets abroad. This “possession abroad” was broadly defined and included territories ceded or sold by the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, both of which extended considerably beyond present-day Russian territory.

One area affected was Alaska: the present-day US state sold to the United States by Russia in 1867. The then-young USA spent $7.2 million on 1.7 million square kilometers – adjusted for inflation, that would be $155 million in 2024. Given the amount and ingredients out there, it's a real bargain.

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US State Department Comment

While many observers thought Putin's remarks about Russia's return to Alaska on a TV show was a joke, the US State Department has now issued a decisive statement.

“Alaska is an integral part of the United States.
This is a universally recognized fact. “Discussions about returning to Russia are absurd,” “The Hill” newspaper quoted the authority as saying.

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